“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” e.e. cummings, 1955
This morning I am writing my 900th post on The Writing Nag. While that may not entirely be accurate, Blogger counts every post even the ones where I just posted a picture or a quote, it is still 900 times where I made the intention to sit down and post about the practice of creative writing, poetry, gardening, travel, books or the arts. If I took each of my blog posts and pulled out the main theme, I’m sure I would start to see a pattern. Those elemental themes that I put out there are who I am as a writer and sometimes when we first start writing those are the things we look to suppress. The more I write, the more I see that my authentic self is now visible on the paper. W. H. Auden wrote “Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.” I don’t think this is something that can be taught, it is something that evolves after many years of writing. Like other crafts, the more you do it the more your self rises to the top.
Often when we start writing we imitate other writers and poets whose work we admire and then one day there are words on the page that sound like nobody else but you. We start writing with our own style and our own voice, becoming authentic as Auden eloquently puts it. Maybe you’re still searching for your voice…keep writing. Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag